Mind Reads; October 2005; Scientific American Mind; by Kenneth Silber, Richard Lipkin, Jonathan Beard, Jeanne Hamming; 2 Page(s)
Is technology about to transform humanity? And would this be good? In his thought-provoking book, Washington Post reporter Joel Garreau parlays interviews with technologists and pundits into diverse scenarios of how genetic, robotic and other technologies might alter human prospects and even lead to a "posthuman" world.
In Garreau's "Heaven" scenario, technology makes people smarter, stronger and happier. Computer scientist Ray Kurzweil, for one, forecasts a growing convergence of humans and intelligent machines; ultimately, Kurzweil believes, people will be immortal, existing as "software" that can operate in various bodies. As an alternative heaven, biomedical futurist Gregory Stock sees genetic engineering as a way to continual mental and physical upgrades.